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Thread: Whitley P4971

  1. #1
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    Default Whitley P4971

    In my ancient copy of AB's 'P' Serials (1978,p.27), this aircraft is listed as :- 51/3 OTU/1 OTU - Crashed on take-off, Silloth 16/7/41.

    On the AWM148 Roll of Honour, AUS400164 WHITBOURNE,Arthur Ernest RAAF, is mentioned as being killed in a Ground Accident on 16/7/1941. His Unit being quoted as, 3(C) Op Training.

    At the NAA, the following crew (In no particular order), is mentioned in the Item notes of Whitbourne's A705 Title page :-

    AUS400164 Sgt A E Whitbourne RAAF (+16/7/41)
    AUS402168 Sgt C O'Donnell RAAF (On CWGC as +11/8/41)
    ? F/O J E Jordan
    950638 Sgt A Green (+16/7/41)
    995714 Sgt R N Lord
    1356087 Sgt J Davis

    To further complicate matters, O'Donnell's original AWM148 Card/Fiche (The AWM148 RoH DB being compiled from this source), quotes his Unit as, 3(C)OTU, this being crossed-out and 1(C)OTU being substituted.

    Can anyone provide an accurate account of the fate of Whitley V P4971 and crew?

    Regards,
    Col.

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    Hi Col,

    Both 1 OTU and 3 OTU had aircraft that crashed on that day. The Form 1180 are equally unhelpful.

    Wellington W5619 of 3 OTU went missing on a navex and as you have noted P4971 crashed after take off 1 mile east of Silloth. No guidance is given on crew compositions.

    Henk is likely to have some snippets of who was on what that can be worked up.

    Regards
    Ross
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    Air Crashes in the Lake District records the casualties in P4971 as
    O'Donnell C
    Green AH
    Wittbourne AE (sic)

    The occupants of the a/c were quickly released from the wreckage, but the W/op (Green) was found to be dead whilst the other two died later in hospital.

    regards

    DaveW

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    Gents,
    For P4971 I've on file:
    Sgt A.E. WHITBOURNE - RAAF 400164;
    Sgt A.H. GREEN - 950638, and
    Sgt C. O'DONNELL - RAAF 402168.
    W5619, a converted Mk.VIII, may have been lost over sea on a navex (due to deteriotated weather conditions). Crew on the Runnymede Memorial.
    F/Sgt P.J.D. PEARCE - 1286160;
    Sgt S.A. FERRY - 932387;
    Sgt L.G. TRUSSELL - 1375842;
    F/Sgt M.T. HAMMELL - RCAF R/91287;
    F/Sgt W. KRAVAC - RCAF R/92226, and
    F/Sgt J.A. McMAHON - RCAF R/82745.
    Regards,
    Henk.

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    Default Whitley P4971

    Hi Gentlemen,

    That ties up Whitley P4971 very nicely!

    I must admit (Wellington) W5619 slipped under my guard. In a way I'm glad it did. the 1(C)OTU,3(C)OTU and Ground Accident conundrum was quite enough, let alone adding W5619 to the mix!

    Ross,Dave & Henk,
    Thank you, from a very junior member. Col.

    PS. Yes, I am in the process of updating my AB Serials!

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    Henk

    Has CWGC the wrong year for Hammell etc - 1942?

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    Good question John, CWGC has for all mentioned airmen 15-7-1942 !! It could be Air Britain's date is incorrect. Losscard and ORB may have the answer.
    What's your idea Ross ?
    Regards,
    Henk.

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    Hi Gents,

    No.1 OTU ORB gives the following crew for Whitley P4971

    F/O Jordan
    Sgt Whitbourne, +
    Sgt Green, +
    Sgt O'Donnell, +
    Sgt Lord
    Sgt Davis

    Regards
    Ross
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    Ross,

    Thanks. Will add to file.

    Have the following for this loss:

    16-7-1941
    No.1(C) OTU
    Whitlley V P4971

    Took off Silloth 1405, for dual-instruction purposes. Aircraft crashed 1415 when visibility was 20 miles, with 5/10ths cloud at 2500 feet.
    A Court of Inquiry reported that: " In its opinion the cause of the accident was the presence of a bolt in the aileron locking slot causing the pilot to lose control of the aircraft. A subsidiary cause is that the pilot failed to test his controls before the flight.

    Crew:
    40476 F/O (1st Pilot/Instructor) John Eric JORDAN RAF - Seriously injured
    AUS402168 Sgt (Pupil/Pilot) Colin O'DONNELL RAAF - Seriously injured ( Died of injuries 11-8-1941)

    Passengers:
    AUS400164 Sgt (Pilot) Arthur Ernest WHITBOURNE RAAF +
    950638 Sgt (W.Op./Air Gnr.) Albert Horace GREEN RAFVR +
    995714 Sgt R N LORD RAFVR - Uninjured
    1356087 Sgt J DAVIS RAFVR - Slightly injured

    Col.
    Last edited by COL BRUGGY; 3rd May 2012 at 05:13.

  10. #10
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    Default Whitley P4971 16th July 1941

    Hello All

    I notice that Col has mentioned in post #9 that the locking pin (which was a non-standard threaded stud with nut on it according to the Inquiry) was locking the aileron control.

    A recommendation was made in 1940 to attach the locking pins to a cable or belt which would go over to the Captain's seat to the bar. The Pilot would then be aware when he went to sit down without any doubt that the locking pins were in place.

    1. Clearly according to the Inquiry, the 'locking bar unit' arrangment has a non-standard locking pin.
    2. No cable / belt recommended in 1940 appeared to be attached to locking pin, bar and to the pilots seat:-

    because the Instructing Officer Jordan noticed that the 'locking bar unit' was not in the position when the controls are locked and he clearly states this.

    Although this appears to be partly a case of not checking the freedom of the controls by the Instructing Officer, there is also:-
    1) a disregard of the recommendations made in 1940 after several of these crashes and/or
    2) bad maintenance of the 'locking bar unit' which appears highly likely due to the use of a non-standard locking pin.

    The non-standard locking pin was locking the control, but the locking bar unit was actually removed for flight.

    Mark
    Last edited by Mark Hood; 29th November 2013 at 21:33.

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